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Topographical and temporal diversity of the human skin microbiome.

Human skin is a large, heterogeneous organ that protects the body from pathogens while sustaining microorganisms that influence human health and disease. Our analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences obtained from 20 distinct skin sites of healthy humans revealed that physiologically comparable sites harbor similar bacterial communities. The complexity and stability of the microbial community are dependent on the specific characteristics of the skin site. This topographical and temporal survey provides a baseline for studies that examine the role of bacterial communities in disease states and the microbial interdependencies required to maintain healthy skin.

Pubmed ID: 19478181


  • Grice EA
  • Kong HH
  • Conlan S
  • Deming CB
  • Davis J
  • Young AC
  • NISC Comparative Sequencing Program
  • Bouffard GG
  • Blakesley RW
  • Murray PR
  • Green ED
  • Turner ML
  • Segre JA


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

May 29, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id: Z01 HG000180-08
  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id: ZIA BC010938-02
  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id: ZIA HG000180-09

Mesh Terms

  • Actinobacteria
  • Adult
  • Bacteria
  • Bacteroidetes
  • Biodiversity
  • Female
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenome
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Proteobacteria
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Skin
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult